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How to Make a Proper Bid in Bridge

Bridge bids have a legal ranking structure all their own. Remember that each new bid any player makes must outrank the previous one. During the bidding, players call out their bids to communicate information [more…]

Determining Who Plays a Hand after Bidding in Bridge

When you play bridge, if your partnership buys the final contract, the bidding determines who plays the hand (the declarer) and who kicks back and watches the action [more…]

How to Make an Opening Bid in Bridge

Making the opening bid in a hand of bridge can be nerve-wracking for novices. After the cards are dealt, you pick them up, sort them, and evaluate the strength of your hand. You may get a chance to make [more…]

How to Add Up High-Card Points in Bridge

Your honor cards (the ace, king, queen, jack, and ten in each suit) contribute to the strength of your hand. When you pick up your hand, assign the following points to each of your honor cards: [more…]

How to Respond to a Bridge Bid with a Jump Shift

When your partner opens the bidding and catches you with 17 or more high-card points (HCP), game is a certainty. To tell your partner the good news, you usually [more…]

How to Respond to an Opening Bid in Bridge

Your bridge partner has opened the bidding. Congratulations! Your side has made the first step toward determining the best contract. Now it’s your turn at bat. Get ready to tell your partner, the opener [more…]

How to Become the Captain in Bridge

Captain on the bridge! In bridge, the captain is the one who makes the final decision of how high to bid. During the bidding in a game of bridge, each player tries to determine his partner’s strength and [more…]

How to Rebid Your Long Suit in Bridge

When playing bridge, sometimes you (the responder) have a long, strong suit. Strong six-card suits, especially major suits, were made to be bid and rebid. But don’t forget that you also have to tell your [more…]

How to Know When to Rebid or Pass in Bridge

After you open the bidding in bridge and your partner makes a response, do you have to bid again, or can you just pass? You may want to make a second bid, called your [more…]

How to Redouble in Bridge

Some bridge opponents don’t like to be doubled — and they can respond by redoubling, telling you that they think you’ve made a colossal mistake by making a penalty double [more…]

How to Overcall in Bridge Bidding

If a bridge opponent opens the bidding, you may be able to interfere with a bid (or bids) by overcalling. You overcallwhen you bid a different suit than the suit your opponent bid. [more…]

How to Respond to Your Bridge Partner’s Overcall

After one of your bridge opponents opens the bidding and your partner overcalls, you need to repond to that overcall. You know that your partner has a five- or six-card suit — more often than not, a five-card [more…]

Basics of Penalty Doubles in Bridge

Knowing when to make a penalty double (a bridge bid that tells your partner and the world that the opponents have overreached themselves) is truly the hallmark of a winning player. You’re most apt to lash [more…]

How to Know When to Double in Bridge

In bridge, the penalty double offers a formidable weapon that keeps your opponents from stepping all over you. If they know that you won’t ever double them, they’ll take all kinds of liberties in the bidding [more…]

How to Count a Suit in Bridge

To know when your small cards in a hand of bridge are winners, you must become familiar with the dreaded “c” word, counting. If you count the cards in the suit you’re playing, you can tell whether your [more…]

Playing Bridge: How to Decipher Cards and Directions

When you play bridge, you need to understand how the cards are ranked and what the directions mean. You use all cards in a standard deck (except the Jokers) for bridge. The directions correspond to the [more…]

How to Bid Slams in Bridge

In bridge, a slam comes in two varieties, small and grand. A small slam involves bidding and taking 12 of the 13 tricks, and, therefore, involves bidding to a six-level contract. A grand slam requires [more…]

Bridge: How to Determine Sure Tricks by Suit

Depending on which cards you and your partner hold in a hand of bridge, your side may hold some definite winners, called sure tricks — tricks you can take at any time right from the start. You count your [more…]

How to Take Sure Tricks in Bridge

Depending on which cards you and your bridge partner hold in a hand, your side may have some definite winners, called sure tricks. Sure tricks are those that you can take at any time right from the get-go [more…]

How to Drive Out Your Opponent’s Ace in Bridge

In bridge, you can create winning tricks in a suit, even if you don’t have the ace. When you have all the honors in a suit except the ace, you can attack that suit early and drive out the ace from your [more…]

How to Surrender the Bridge Lead Twice to the Ace and King

In a hand of bridge, when you’re missing just the ace, you can establish the suit easily by drawing out the ace. However, if you’re missing both the ace and the king, you have to give up the lead twice [more…]

Finesse a Bridge Hand with a Hole in Your Honor Cards

Sometimes, the honor cards that you hold in a hand of bridge have a big hole in them. For example, you might have the ace, queen, and jack in a suit. But what can you do without the king? You can fill [more…]

How to Play the Short-Side Honors First in Bridge

When playing bridge, never forget this simple and powerful rule: When attacking an unequally divided suit,where either your hand or the dummy holds more cards than the other in that suit, play the high [more…]

Exploiting Length with No High Honor Cards in Bridge

If you don’t have any of a suit’s three top dogs (the ace, king, or queen) in a hand of bridge, but you have four or more cards in the suit, you can still scrape a trick or two out of the suit. When you [more…]

How to Establish Tricks in Bridge

When you establish tricks in bridge, you make sure you have winning cards by playing or forcing out your opponents' higher cards. You have to be sure that you can take enough tricks to meet your contract [more…]

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